Multi-Targeted Mechanisms Underlying the Endothelial Protective Effects of the Diabetic-Safe Sweetener Erythritol

Daniëlle M P H J Boesten, Alvin Berger, Peter de Cock, Hua Dong, Bruce D. Hammock, Gertjan J M den Hartog, Aalt Bast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Diabetes is characterized by hyperglycemia and development of vascular pathology. Endothelial cell dysfunction is a starting point for pathogenesis of vascular complications in diabetes. We previously showed the polyol erythritol to be a hydroxyl radical scavenger preventing endothelial cell dysfunction onset in diabetic rats. To unravel mechanisms, other than scavenging of radicals, by which erythritol mediates this protective effect, we evaluated effects of erythritol in endothelial cells exposed to normal (7 mM) and high glucose (30 mM) or diabetic stressors (e.g. SIN-1) using targeted and transcriptomic approaches. This study demonstrates that erythritol (i.e. under non-diabetic conditions) has minimal effects on endothelial cells. However, under hyperglycemic conditions erythritol protected endothelial cells against cell death induced by diabetic stressors (i.e. high glucose and peroxynitrite). Also a number of harmful effects caused by high glucose, e.g. increased nitric oxide release, are reversed. Additionally, total transcriptome analysis indicated that biological processes which are differentially regulated due to high glucose are corrected by erythritol. We conclude that erythritol protects endothelial cells during high glucose conditions via effects on multiple targets. Overall, these data indicate a therapeutically important endothelial protective effect of erythritol under hyperglycemic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere65741
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 5 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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